How to Plant Roses


Roses need plenty of Water


A thorough soaking at planting time.  In dry weather, a slow application of water to a soil depth of 8 to 10 inches once each week.  Mulch to retain soil water content and reduce weeds.




In the fall, after frost, remove bushy top growth to prevent damage from winter wind, snow and ice.  The following spring, before the buds begin to swell, remove all dead, weak, and crossing branches.  Cut Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora and Floribunda canes back to 12 to 18 inches. Prune climbers and shrub roses only to remove dead wood and to keep bushes in bounds.  Prune miniatures to 6 to 8 inches.


Spraying or Dusting


Use a complete rose pesticide for diseases and insects.  Begin your spraying or dusting program as soon as leaves form in the spring.  Repeat every days or so until frost.  Follow carefully the directions on the product box or can.




No fertilizer is needed at planting time.  Ask for a balanced fertilizer, preferably highly organic.  On established roses, the first application of fertilizer in spring should be as soon as the first leaves appear.  On both newly planted and established roses, feed after the first wave of blooms has passed and again in mid-summer.


Planting Distances


Hybrid Teas – 24” apart


Grandifloras – 24” apart


Floribundas – 24” apart


Climbers (on fences) – 8-12’ apart


Shrubs – 3-6’ apart


Miniatures – 12-18” apart


For mild climates where the growing period is longer, increase these distances.


Winter Protection


The best winter protection is summer care.  Healthy roses will be hardier roses.  Where winter temperatures seldom go below 10 degrees, no protection is needed.  In colder climates, mound soil up around the canes to a height of 10-12”.  Do not use peat moss or leaves or any other material, which will retain moisture or encourage rodents.


Now....Enjoy your Roses


   With just a few hours of care each year, they will reward you with years and years of beauty and enjoyment.


Planting Potted Roses


Dig a hole, which is twice the diameter and twice the depth of container.  Refill the hole with loose soil so that the plant’s bud union is at ground level.  For miniature roses, refill the hole with loose soil so that the soil level in the container, when placed in the hole, is at ground level.


Remove the container by holding the rose at the base (do not forget to wear gloves!) with one hand and tapping the top of the container until it comes loose. Taking care not to disturb the roots, place the rose bush in the hole so that the plant’s bud union is at ground level.


In case of miniatures, place the plant in the hole so that the soil level in its container is at ground level.  Fill in the hole to within 1 to 2” of ground level with soil.  Firm the soil around the bush and water thoroughly.  Add peat moss or other coarse mulch to ground level.


Planting a Bare Root Rose


Soak the roots and the bud union for the bush for 1-4 hours in a bucket containing a mixture of water and a few handfuls of soil.


Dig a hole about 18” wide and 15” deep, then make a mound of soil in the hole.  Spread the roots out over the mound, positioning the bud union in at ground level.  Note:  Mixing your soil with 1-2 to 1 part peat moss will give you better growth.


Add more soil so that the hole is almost entirely full.  Firm the soil gently with your feet. Slowly fill the hole with water.  Let the water soak in and fill the remainder of the hole with soil.  Water again thoroughly.


To get your roses off to a faster start, it is important to protect the canes from the drying action of the sun, wind and frost while the roots are starting to grow.  This can be done by mounding soil around the canes to a height of 8-10” above ground level.  The soil mound should be removed bit by bit as the weather warms and growth begins.  Use caution in removing the soil in order not to damage the tender new shoots, which have just begun to grow.